Intermittent Fasting = Better Sleep
We commonly link Intermittent Fasting (IF) with weight management, but alongside a multitude of health benefits, research backed by The Sleep Foundation shows that IF has a positive effect on sleep.
When we practise intermittent fasting, eating within a set eating window, the body begins to establish consistent regulation of key physiological systems, including sleep, energy, the digestive system and the production of human growth hormone.
With the digestive system working optimally before we sleep, the body is free to focus on restoring on a cellular level, repairing the muscles and synchronising the circadian rhythm, which is responsible for your sleep/wake cycle and metabolism.
Better aligning with our natural circadian rhythm triggers more restorative sleep - making it easier for us to fall and stay asleep, and increases the duration of our rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. REM sleep is an essential stage of sleep that is responsible for emotional and mental processing. Prolonged periods of REM sleep leads to better cognitive function, reduced anxiety and better brain and mental health.
For those just starting with intermittent fasting, you can expect to see and feel an improvement in your sleep quality after as little as 7 days.
Better sleep = increased energy
We know that a good night’s sleep results in better energy the following day, but intermittent fasting enhances this further. Practising IF increases the production of orexin-A, a neurotransmitter responsible for alertness. Increased levels of orexin-A during the day allows for better energy balance and naturally declines in line with the circadian rhythm in the evening, allowing for more restful sleep.
It’s all a cycle.